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Are Finance Stocks Lagging Cathay General Bancorp (CATY) This Year?

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For those looking to find strong Finance stocks, it is prudent to search for companies in the group that are outperforming their peers. Is Cathay General (CATY - Free Report) one of those stocks right now? By taking a look at the stock's year-to-date performance in comparison to its Finance peers, we might be able to answer that question.

Cathay General is a member of our Finance group, which includes 885 different companies and currently sits at #2 in the Zacks Sector Rank. The Zacks Sector Rank considers 16 different groups, measuring the average Zacks Rank of the individual stocks within the sector to gauge the strength of each group.

The Zacks Rank is a successful stock-picking model that emphasizes earnings estimates and estimate revisions. The system highlights a number of different stocks that could be poised to outperform the broader market over the next one to three months. Cathay General is currently sporting a Zacks Rank of #2 (Buy).

Within the past quarter, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for CATY's full-year earnings has moved 4.2% higher. This means that analyst sentiment is stronger and the stock's earnings outlook is improving.

According to our latest data, CATY has moved about 8.3% on a year-to-date basis. Meanwhile, the Finance sector has returned an average of -10.9% on a year-to-date basis. This means that Cathay General is performing better than its sector in terms of year-to-date returns.

Another stock in the Finance sector, Associated Banc-Corp (ASB - Free Report) , has outperformed the sector so far this year. The stock's year-to-date return is 7.5%.

The consensus estimate for Associated Banc-Corp's current year EPS has increased 4.9% over the past three months. The stock currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

To break things down more, Cathay General belongs to the Banks - West industry, a group that includes 34 individual companies and currently sits at #24 in the Zacks Industry Rank. On average, stocks in this group have lost 27.4% this year, meaning that CATY is performing better in terms of year-to-date returns.

In contrast, Associated Banc-Corp falls under the Banks - Midwest industry. Currently, this industry has 29 stocks and is ranked #18. Since the beginning of the year, the industry has moved +1.7%.

Investors interested in the Finance sector may want to keep a close eye on Cathay General and Associated Banc-Corp as they attempt to continue their solid performance.

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